Boise Schools to consider land purchase for future school

The Boise School District is considering its first school land purchase in a decade as development ramps up in South Boise.

School officials want to buy 57 acres east of South Cole Road and southeast of Stirrup Avenue, about 3 miles south of Interstate 84, for $1.7 million. The school board will consider the purchase Monday.

The district has no immediate plan to build a school. The land would be suitable for an elementary, junior high or high school, said Coby Dennis, deputy superintendent.

Districts often buy land ahead of development so they can place schools before houses and businesses take up the land. The West Ada School District, for example, will get $2 million from its school bond passed last month to buy land west of Ten Mile Road for a high school in advance of coming development.

Boise’s proposed purchase comes as developers work toward approval from Boise for Syringa Valley, a 600-acre project near South Cole Road expected to have 1,330 single-family homes, 1,110 apartments, 480 condominiums, a business park and a 156,000-square-foot shopping center by 2035, according to an Ada County Highway District report.

School officials also expect that Lake Hazel Road will be extended across South Cole Road over the next several years, opening more land to development.

The highway district proposes extending Lake Hazel east past Cole to a point where it would meet with a proposed extension of South Orchard Street. Lake Hazel’s extension is proposed to be completed between 2022 and 2026.

Development in that area would put pressure on at least two existing schools. Students in South Boise attend Borah High School, which was built for 1,600 students. Between 1,450 and 1,500 students have attended the school over the last few years. Junior high students attend West Junior High, which is projected to hit 950 students soon, about 50 over capacity..